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Thursday, July 07, 2005

My dad had a heart attack last night.

I was round for dinner when it happened: it was incredibly unnerving to watch. At the time we didn’t consider for a second that it could’ve been a heart attack, we thought at best very bad indigestion at worst an attack of angina.

The whole thing lasted over 2 hours. It came on about 6:45 as he was on his way home from work. He had dinner. He sat with us in the living room. He then went upstairs, and after what was probably half an hour my mum called NHS Direct who put her through to the Ambulance service.

The paramedics arrived quickly, and at this point he had probably been suffering symptoms for about 2 hours. They gave him some angina medication and oxygen straight away, and wheeled him out to the ambulance that was parked on our drive for an ECG.

I waited inside with the dogs and after what seemed like forever watched them pull away taking my dad and my mum to the hospital. This must have been about 9:30.

I stayed at my mum and dad’s with their dogs and waited for a telephone call. At 10:45 I went home to collect some things, I planned to stay over and wait for their call.

At about 11:50 the phone rang; it was my mum calling to be picked up from the hospital. I knew at this point my dad had to stay in, but she didn’t tell me what had happened, just that he was alright.

I picked mum up at 12:30, at which time she told me my dad had had a heart attack. The paramedics diagnosed it in the ambulance.

It was only mild, she said, and he’s alright.

There are many ambulance teams in our region, and two based very closely to my parents house. The local team came to answer the call, which was very lucky. They are the only team in the region that begin treatment for heart attacks straight away. They may have been the reason he only had a mild attack.

He had been warned in the past that his blood pressure was too high, that his job was too stressful and that he had too much salt, but he stubbornly carried on. We all thought he was indestructible.

I feel terrible for my mum, she must have been terrified. I’m going to visit him tonight. They say he’ll need to be in hospital for 5 – 7 days. I’m going to try and find him a good book at lunch time.

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